St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals Free Prediction

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In what could be a Stanley Cup preview, the St. Louis Blues and the Washington Capitals clash at Capital One Arena in an East-versus-West tilt. The opening face-off is at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7, and you can witness the game live on NBC Sports Washington.

St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals Odds

Washington (-150) is currently the favorite over St. Louis (+130), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total stand at -130 for the under and +110 for the over.

St. Louis is 26-18 straight up (SU) and has netted 4.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 44 regular season outings, 27 of its games have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and none have pushed. The Blue Notes are 11-10 SU on the road in 2017-18.

St. Louis has converted on just 14.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.1 percent of its penalties.

The Blue Notes, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties just 3.5 times per game this season, and 4.2 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 25.9 saves per game with a .911 save percentage, Jake Allen (18-16-2) has been the top option in goal for St. Louis this year. Allen played yesterday, however, so St. Louis may opt to rest him and instead turn to Carter Hutton (9-5 record, .947 save percentage, 1.64 goals against average).

Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Blues. Schenn (42 points) has tallied 17 goals and 25 assists, and has recorded two or more points 10 times. Tarasenko has 17 goals and 24 assists to his nameand has registered a point in 25 games.

Washington is 25-16 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 6.7 units this year. Through 41 regular season contests, 23 of its games have gone over the total, while 18 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 16-5 SU at home this season.

The Capitals have converted on just 19.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 22nd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Washington players have been penalized 4.3 times per game in total this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Braden Holtby has stopped 28.5 shots per game as the primary choice in goal for the Capitals. Holtby has 23 wins and eight losses to his name and has maintained a .917 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average this season.

Alex Ovechkin (26 goals, 17 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the home team.

St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • St. Louis is 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 3-1 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Washington’s last five games.
  • Washington’s attempted 28.8 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 32nd in the NHL), and 32.6 in their last five home games.
  • Washington has scored 3.1 goals per game overall this season, but has upped that figure to 4.7 per contest in its last three games (the teams a perfect 0-0 SU over that streak).
  • Over St. Louis last ten games, four of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-3 in those games).
  • This game features two of the tougher teams in the league. St. Louis skaters have given out the leagues 12th-most hits per game (22.1) while the Caps have tallied the 10th-most (22.6).